Top 4 Best Glue For PLA In 2021 (Model Reviews)

Polylactic Acid, or PLA, is one of the most produced plastics in the world. It’s popular in many industries for its cost-efficiency and sturdiness. One of the most common use cases for this plastic is in 3D printing, where this material is used as a filament.

Because it is so affordable and widely used, this plastic often needs to be bonded to other plastic parts and sometimes other materials such as metal, resin, or paper. To do that, we will need to use an adhesive that won’t dissolve this plastic but can bond it really well.

We know that it can be hard to choose an adhesive for certain applications since there are so many options on the market. And for that reason, we compiled a list of the best glue for PLA plastic. The list contains glues that were reviewed by us and are proven to work with PLA excellently!

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Our Pick
Insta-Cure Gap Filling 2oz Bob Smith Ind.
Runner-Up
J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder Structural Adhesive Syringe - Tan - 25 ml
Most Versatile
Loctite Super Glue Ultra Gel Control, 4-Gram Bottle (1739050)
The Strongest
Bob Smith Industries BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy (4.5 oz. Combined)
Product
Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure
J-B Weld Plastic Bonder
Loctite Gel Super Glue
BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy
Drying Time
5-15 Seconds
15 Minutes
30 Seconds
6 Hours
Dries Clear
Viscosity
High
Medium
Medium
Medium
Our Pick
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Insta-Cure Gap Filling 2oz Bob Smith Ind.
Product
Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure
Drying Time
5-15 Seconds
Dries Clear
Viscosity
High
Where To Buy
Runner-Up
Image
J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder Structural Adhesive Syringe - Tan - 25 ml
Product
J-B Weld Plastic Bonder
Drying Time
15 Minutes
Dries Clear
Viscosity
Medium
Where To Buy
Most Versatile
Image
Loctite Super Glue Ultra Gel Control, 4-Gram Bottle (1739050)
Product
Loctite Gel Super Glue
Drying Time
30 Seconds
Dries Clear
Viscosity
Medium
Where To Buy
The Strongest
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Bob Smith Industries BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy (4.5 oz. Combined)
Product
BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy
Drying Time
6 Hours
Dries Clear
Viscosity
Medium
Where To Buy

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Glue For PLA – Reviews


There are a plethora of adhesives that can bond PLA plastic, but the issue is that they can also dissolve it and damage it. That’s why we had to be careful when choosing the adhesives for this list. We started our research with more than 20 models that looked promising but ended up with just 4 that met our strict criteria.

Those 4 are the best performing adhesives for PLA that you can buy. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

Our Pick

Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure

Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure

Drying Color: Clear

Setting Time: 5-15 Seconds

Viscosity: High

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All the adhesives from Bob Smith Industries are excellent performing, and this cyanoacrylate is no different! The Insta-Cure is one of our all-time favorite glue models that we find ourselves using on a daily basis. It’s excellent for heavy-duty applications but doesn’t melt or damage sensitive materials. It is, in our opinion, the best glue for PLA on the market!

Bonding

The versatility and the bonding power of this glue are unmatched. It can glue almost every type of plastic there is with no issues or damage done to the material. That’s why we were confident that it will work with PLA, and our expectations were certainly met.

The glue doesn’t melt or dissolve the PLA plastic and is completely safe to use on this material. You can be sure that your plastic parts will stay intact when in contact with this adhesive.

In terms of strength, this super glue is probably one of the toughest we ever tried. It has immense tensile strength, and its bonds are sure to withstand a lot of pressure. It’s safe to say that the PLA plastic parts will break before the bonds made with Insta-Cure do.

One of the perks of using this adhesive is its versatility. As we already mentioned, it can bond a variety of materials and is great for PLA plastic to metal, as well as PLA plastic to wood applications!

Whether you are bonding PLA to plastics or you’re gluing this material to others, there is no better choice for bonding PLA than this glue in terms of performance and versatility!

Drying Time

We are all accustomed to lightning-fast setting times when it comes to super glue adhesives, but the Insta-Cure is a step in front of others yet again. It has the fastest drying time that we’ve seen on a super glue adhesive as it can set in as low as 5 seconds!

That’s insanely fast and will speed up your PLA 3D printing projects or repairs significantly!

If you’re a fan of instantaneous bonds and tolerate no wastage of time, you should probably consider pairing this super glue with an accelerator. With it, you can achieve the fastest setting time there is and will waste no time waiting for the glue to dry whatsoever.

We found that it’s best to combine this glue with this accelerator here (link to Amazon). They work wonderfully together and produce phenomenal results!

Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure

Ease Of Use

While the strength and the performance of this glue are professional-like, its application is really a breeze.

First off, the 2 Oz container is designed well and allows no clogging and wastage of the glue. The nozzle is nice and thin, which allows the glue to flow freely, again, with no clogging.

The thing that we like the most about this glue is its viscosity. It has the consistency of a gel or honey, which resists the flowing of the glue and makes the application clean and mess-free.

This glue goes where you want it to go and stays where you want it to stay.

Drying Color

liquid glue on a surface

The drying color of this glue is crystal clear and transparent.

It leaves no colored residue behind when it dries and won’t alter with the looks of your PLA plastic parts if that concerns you.

Environmental Resistance

Super glue adhesives are known to have good water in normal conditions. This glue, however, has even stronger environmental resistance properties than most super glue models.

It resists water and moisture wonderfully and is great for PLA plastic bonding in moist or wet environments.

As with all super glue adhesives, be wary of using this glue in high-temperature environments as the bond can start losing its strength.

Affordability

While cyanoacrylate is known as an expensive adhesive in large quantities, the Insta-Cure is actually a pretty good deal for the money.

In comparison to Loctite and Gorilla super glue, this adhesive has a much better price per ounce ratio. Its superior performance and attractive price tag really make it an obvious choice when it comes to PLA gluing.

It’s by far the best glue for PLA that you can find!

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J-B Weld Plastic Bonder Structural Adhesive

J-B Weld Plastic Bonder Structural Adhesive

Drying Color: Tan

Setting Time: 15 Minutes

Viscosity: Medium

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When it comes to epoxies for bonding PLA, this J-B Weld model came recommended most, both online and offline. It has excellent structural strength and works excellently on just about every type of plastic there is. Its fast setting time is an added bonus and makes it more than a worthwhile purchase!

Bonding

3770 PSI tensile strength is certainly no joke and can get some serious work done. That kind of strength is sufficient even for the most heavy-duty PLA projects you might be having.

We recommend using it for these very projects, where you need and can benefit from the massive strength of this epoxy. Otherwise, super glue is a better-suited and more efficient alternative.

When it comes to compatibility with plastics, this epoxy is on point. It is specifically designed to bond all kinds of plastics well, and that’s precisely what it does.

You will easily be able to bond PLA plastic to PLA, as well as other plastics such as ABS, PVC, and so on. In terms of plastic bonding, the versatility of this epoxy knows no bounds, but when it comes to other materials, the performance drops a bit, except for plastic to metal, where it’s on the same exceptional level of performance.

It can still bond wood, ceramic, and concrete, but you shouldn’t expect the same performance level as with the PLA to plastic and plastic to metal application.

To sum it up, use this epoxy when there is a PLA heavy-duty project that requires bonding challenging PLA parts to other plastic and metals. The sheer power of it will help you get bonds as strong or stronger than the materials you’re bonding.

Environmental Resistance

The environmental resistance of this epoxy is phenomenal, as this adhesive can withstand every kind of environment, no matter how harsh.

It is fully waterproof and is excellent for bonding PLA parts that are likely to be exposed to moisture or water.

Unlike super glue, its temperature resistance is outstanding as it can easily tolerate temperatures of up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit, which is around the melting point for PLA plastic anyway.

Ease Of Use

J-B Weld Plastic Bonder Structural Adhesive

Unfortunately, lots of people are scared to try epoxies as working with them can seem daunting. J-B weld has tried its best to make the whole application process as easy as possible so that anyone can use this heavy-duty adhesive.

The syringe dispersion system is what makes the mixing so much easier. Traditionally, you would have to pour equal amounts of resin and hardener from separate containers, which can be a bit challenging if you’re new to epoxies.

With the two syringe system, you can mix equal amounts of both components with no previous experience or knowledge. No additional equipment is needed to mix and apply the epoxy as it comes with a little plastic mixing tray and a stick for mixing and application.

All of this means that you can enjoy all the benefits of one of the strongest adhesives in the world with an application that is as easy as pie.

Drying Color

Perhaps the only drawback of this epoxy is its drying color. It cures a tan color and can ruin the looks of your PLA parts if the bond becomes visible.

If this is something that you don’t prefer, you can always sand it and paint over the cured epoxy residue to match the color of the PLA plastic parts.

If you don’t like painting and want a clear drying epoxy, you might want to consider the Bob Smith Industries model we reviewed down below.

Drying Time

Another reason people don’t like using epoxies is the extra-long drying time that can sometimes take up to 6 hours! This epoxy is a bit different though as it sets in just 15 minutes, which is super-fast for a two-part epoxy!

Verdict

All in all, this is the best epoxy for PLA in terms of performance. If you don’t mind the tan drying color, then this is the strongest adhesive you can get for PLA!

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Loctite Super Glue Gel

Loctite Gel Super Glue

Drying Color: Clear

Setting Time: 30 seconds

Viscosity: Medium

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Loctite is a giant of the super glue industry and is with Gorilla glue, the most popular cyanoacrylate adhesive today. Among other things, the Loctite super glue has become popular for its versatility. This glue can bond everything you can think of, but more importantly for us, bonds plastics wonderfully.

Bonding

Anyone that worked with Loctite super glue knows what’s it capable of. It’s a high-grade super glue that has enough strength for the toughest PLA projects or repairs.

It’s not the strength that impressed us, it’s the versatility of this glue that continues to amaze us to this very day. We’ve been using it for decades, and we seem to discover a new material it can bond every other day!

Since Loctite is known as a plastic specialist, we were certain it will perform great on PLA, and we weren’t wrong.

It bonded the two PLA plastic parts inseparable. You can be sure that your bond will be extremely resistant and long-lasting when using this glue on this plastic.

Let’s get back to the versatility. We were interested in what else can this glue bond to PLA. We discovered that it is more than capable of gluing PLA to metal, wood, resin, concrete, glass, and any other plastic!

If you use a lot of different materials in your PLA projects, this would be the adhesive to go for.

Ease Of Use

Loctite Super Glue Gel

While most of the super glue models are easy to use, they have their problems and limitations. They often times clog the nozzle, dry in the bottle, or are too runny and difficult to dispense.

Loctite has tackled almost all of the commonly found problems when it comes to the application and longevity of the glue.

First off, the bottle is designed very smartly as it doesn’t clog or dry when you store it. It won’t let any air or moisture in when you close it, which solves the problem of premature hardening of the adhesive.

Next, the side button design allows for super-easy and accurate application. All you need to do is press the two buttons, and the glue will start seeping through the nozzle in controlled amounts.

The last thing that makes the application easy is the consistency of this glue. It has a medium viscosity, which is similar to syrup, as opposed to the traditional liquid super glue.

This makes the glue stay in place when you start applying it, making the glue stay in just the right place!

Drying Time

Loctite Super Glue Gel

One of the main characteristics of the Loctite super glue is its lightning-fast drying time. For most PLA applications, you will experience setting times of less than 30 seconds!

This kind of setting time will speed up your projects and make you waste much less time than with other adhesives.

Again, if you wish to speed up this, even more, a high-grade accelerator such as the one we recommended earlier is a great choice.

Drying Color

The crystal clear drying color is one of the trademarks of Loctite super glue. It makes the results look clean and expert-like.

You don’t have to worry about the discoloration and ugly bonds with this one!

Affordability

While this glue is as good as it gets when it comes to super glue performance, it is on the pricier side when you consider its price per ounce.

Models like the Insta-Cure from Bob Smith Ind., we reviewed above, match its performance and sometimes even go beyond it but are more affordable.

Still, if you need only small quantities of super glue for smaller-sized PLA projects, this Loctite super glue gel is a viable option.

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Bob Smith Industries BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy

Bob Smith Industries BSI-205 Clear Slow-Cure Epoxy

Drying Color: Clear

Setting Time: 6 Hours

Viscosity: Medium

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The last adhesive on our best glue for PLA list is the Bob Smith Industries Slow-Cure Epoxy. It’s one of the strongest adhesives we ever tried, and it bonds PLA plastic to any material you can think of. It’s a great clear-drying alternative to the plastic epoxy we reviewed above.

Bonding

The bonding power of this epoxy adhesive is immense. It has a tensile strength of 4500 PSI which is enough to bond just about anything you can think of, no matter how large or heavy.

The main concern we had is whether this heavy-duty epoxy will damage the PLA plastic, but fortunately, it seems to work with it quite well. No dissolving or any type of damage was done to the plastic material.

This epoxy works with most plastics and can bond PLA to heavy-duty metals, which is the recommended application.

As with the J-B weld epoxy, we recommend using this one only when you can benefit from its strength as it is easier, more affordable, and convenient to use super glue when the PLA projects are less challenging.

Environmental Resistance

This is one of the toughest, most resistant epoxies we’ve ever worked with. It is better in this department than the J-B Weld model we reviewed above as it can withstand even higher temperatures and full submersion in water.

You can’t really benefit from the added resistance for PLA application, though, as the plastic will melt before the bond does.

Still, it’s good to know that your bond will survive every type of environment you put it in.

Drying Color

Apart from its strength and resistance, this epoxy offers clean and nice-looking results since it dries clear.

It’s rare to find an epoxy as strong as this one that is also clear drying.

If you’re looking for the maximum strength and great looks of your PLA project, this is the adhesive to go for.

Ease Of Use

As with any adhesive, this epoxy has its downsides. The first one is ease of use.

It can get tricky to use if you’re a first-time epoxy user and will likely require a few tries.

You will have to make sure to mix both components in equal amounts. One thing making this easier is the fact that the epoxy has a long working time of up to 30 minutes, which can be beneficial as it gives you more time to get the mixture right.

After bonding the PLA parts, you will need to clamp them, which can be an added expense if you don’t already have some.

This can all be troublesome at first, but really isn’t as hard as people like to imagine. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will all be automatic and muscle memory.

Drying Time

Unfortunately, this epoxy has the standard long drying time that we usually find in most epoxies. It can take up to 6 hours before it sets, which can be too much for some.

That’s why we mentioned that we recommend using it only on heavy-duty projects where it’s worth it to wait longer for better long-lasting results.

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Sale
Bob Smith Ind. Insta-Cure - Best Glue For PLA

  • Drying Color: Clear
  • Setting Time: 5-15 Seconds
  • Viscosity: High

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Wrap Up


That about wraps it up for this article.

All the models we reviewed performed excellently on PLA and were tested by us.

You can easily go with any of the 4 recommended adhesives and have no problems gluing PLA.